The U.S. Department of Commerce has made a decision to impose initial duties of up to 9.93 per cent against Canadian newsprint sold south of the border.
Catalyst Paper, with mills in Crofton and Port Alberni, hit with a 6.09 per cent countervailing duty from the United States.
Another anti-dumping duty ruling will come in March from the U.S. Department of Commerce. At going market rates that newsprint is worth about $84 million.
The U.S. government began investigating Canada's newsprint industry after Washington-based North Pacific Paper Co. complained Canada was dumping newsprint into the American market and unfairly subsidizing its industry at home.
US newspaper publishers have been warning that a combination of countervailing and anti-dumping duties will have a devastating impact on an industry already struggling to cope as readers increasingly make the transition from printed products to digital devices.
In the longer term, however, Mason forecasts that the industry will face tough times due to dropping demand that will likely be sped along by higher prices for its customers, largely struggling USA newspaper publishers.
"Norpac has a world-class facility that can compete with anyone around the world, but we need to be able to compete on a level playing field". "While we understand the concerns recently surfaced by some newspaper publishers, we strongly disagree with the notion that their industry requires low-cost, government-subsidized, imported newsprint from Canada to sustain its business model". The estimate we have seen is that this could threaten up to 600,000 jobs in the U.S.
"This additional cost resulting from these tariffs will be significant, and yes, they will directly impact us locally here in Jacksonville, Florida, just like any other local newspaper in America", Nusbaum said. Paper Excellence, for example, no longer makes newsprint, following the closure of its Howe Sound paper mill.
Norpac is targeting products such as newsprint, directory paper, bookgrade paper and groundwood printing and writing paper.
Last month, about 1,100 small newspapers jointly filed a letter with Ross that warned "many small-town papers will be at risk of failing" if higher newsprint costs are added to existing problems caused by the movement of many advertisers to online media.
But other Canadian exporters have also become the target of countervailing and anti-dumping duties, and the Canadian government announced today that it is now taking it fight against American duties to the World Trade Organization in a kind of omnibus complaint over American duties on both Canadian products, as well as products in other countries.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Congress if necessary, owe it to the free flow of print news and the thousands of jobs threatened by this proposed tariff to say "no". Ltd., Canfor Corp. and Tolko Industries Ltd.
Commerce is scheduled to make its final decision by May 22, 2018.
Resolute faces a preliminary duty of 4.42 per cent while the Catalyst Paper duty is 6.09 per cent, Kruger's is 9.93 per cent and the White Birch duty is 0.65 per cent.